From Nigel Farage to Boris Johnson: The politicians who have been duped by pranksters

From Nigel Farage to Boris Johnson: The politicians who have been duped by pranksters

David Cameron has been caught on video speaking to a Russian impostor pretending to be a former Ukrainian president – but he’s not the only politician to be caught out by pranksters.

The Foreign Office said the perpetrators behind the call are “clearly Russian”, adding that “disinformation is a tactic straight from the Kremlin playbook”.

He now joins a string of politicians, world leaders and celebrities to be duped by impersonators and pranksters.

The Russian prankster duo Vladimir Kuznetsov and Alexei Stolyarov are among the most prominent tricksters, with a modus operandi that involves them masquerading as leaders or senior officials.

Here, The Independent has put together a list of the politicians that have been hoaxed by impersonators and pranksters.

Suella Braverman pranked into collecting ‘D*** of the year’ award

Former home secretary Suella Braverman was duped into accepting a comedy show’s “D*** of the Year” award while launching a small boat in her constituency.

Pranksters invited the Tory MP to officially launch “Fareham Fishing” - a bogus angling company - as part of a segment for Channel 4’s Last Leg programme.

Ms Braverman, unaware, accepted the invitation from YouTube pranksters Josh Pieters and Archie Manners.

As she cuts a red ribbon with her head turned, the two pranksters unveil a sign saying, ‘The Last Leg’s D*** of the Year 2023, Suella Braverman.’

Nigel Farage tricked into saying pro-IRA ‘up the RA’

Nigel Farage was tricked into reading a message supporting the IRA by tricksters who targeted him on the video message site Cameo.

The politician read out a birthday message and is seen raising his drink and saying ‘up the RA’ in a clip on the video-sharing platform.

He was then confronted by Irish news presenter Claire Byrne on the comments.

Ms Bryne shared the clip on her RTE One show, and explained: “I want people to see just how much you know about the history and culture of this island.”

After it played she said: “Up the RA, Nigel?

“I know you said sorry and I know you got 87 quid, that’s entirely within your rights to do that – but come on.

“Don’t try and lecture the Irish people on culture and history and the precarious nature of peace on this island, you haven’t got a clue.”

Kwasi Kwarteng and Matt Hancock offered to help fake Korean firm

Former chancellor Kwasi Kwarteng offered to facilitate setting up a meeting between a fake foreign firm and former prime minister Boris Johnson during a sting interview.

Mr Kwarteng was caught up in a hoax organised by campaign group Led By Donkeys in which he was approached about providing political advice to a bogus company in South Korea.

Mr Kwarteng indicated he would take on external consultancy work for the firm for a rate of £10,000 per day.

Former health secretary Matt Hancock, in a separate interview, said his daily rate was the same five-figure sum.

The sting by anti-Brexit group Led By Donkeys saw it create a company called Hanseong Consulting, including setting up a website which contained made-up testimonials and paying for a so-called “fake virtual office” in the South Korean capital Seoul.

Nigel Farage falls for Brexit prank call live on LBC

Nigel Farage was pranked on live radio when a caller said he changed his mind about being a Remainer when he was “kicked in the head by a horse”.

Calling into Mr Farage’s LBC show the man, who gave his name as Mark, started by thanking Mr Farage for his political work in recent times.

“I’m immensely grateful to you for everything you’ve done in British politics over the last few years,” Mark told Mr Farage, before explaining how he had switched sides on the Brexit debate.

As Mr Farage nodded along, Mark told him: “Then something monumental happened.”

Mr Farage, then asked: “And what was that monumental thing, Mark?”

To which he responded: “I was kicked in the head by a horse.”

Sensing the answer was not wholly honest, Mr Farage said: “Right, very good, okay, fine. Thank you, Mark, we’re going to move on.”

Boris Johnson tricked into 18-minute call with man pretending to be Armenian PM

Boris Johnson was duped into discussing the UK’s relationship with Russia with hoax callers pretending to be the Armenian prime minister.

An audio clip posted online by Russian pranksters, Lexus and Vovan, appeared to show the then-foreign secretary talking about the UK’s dealings with Vladimir Putin and the poisoning of the Skripals with the pair, who were pretending to be Nikol Pashinyan, the then recently elected political leader.

The Foreign Office said Mr Johnson had ended the call when he realised it was a hoax and issued a stern statement condemning the “childish actions” of the duo.